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Polymers 2016, 8(11), 403; doi:10.3390/polym8110403

Structure and Transport Properties of Mixed-Matrix Membranes Based on Polyimides with ZrO2 Nanostars

1
Saint Petersburg State University, Department of Chemical Thermodynamics & Kinetics, Universitetsky pr. 26, Peterhof, Saint Petersburg 198504, Russia
2
Lappeenranta University of Technology, Laboratory of Physics, Skinnarilankatu 34, Lappeenranta 53850, Finland
3
Lappeenranta University of Technology, Group of Packaging Technology, Skinnarilankatu 34, Lappeenranta 53850, Finland
4
Institute of Macromolecular Compounds, Russian Academy of Sciences, Bolshoy pr. 31, Saint Petersburg 199004, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Mohamed Khayet and Frank Wiesbrock
Received: 21 August 2016 / Revised: 9 November 2016 / Accepted: 10 November 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
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Abstract

Mixed-matrix membranes based on amorphous and semi-crystalline polyimides with zirconium dioxide (ZrO2) nanostars were synthesized. Amorphous poly(4,4′-oxydiphenylenepyromellitimide) and semi-crystalline polyimide prepared from 1,4-bis(4-aminophenoxy)benzene and 4,4’-oxydiphthalic anhydride were used. The effect of ZrO2 nanostars on the structure and morphology of nanocomposite membranes was studied by wide-angle X-ray scattering, scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and contact angle measurements. Thermal properties and stability were investigated by thermogravimetric analysis and differential scanning calorimetry. Transport properties of hybrid membranes containing 5 wt % ZrO2 were tested for pervaporation of a mixture of butanol–water with 10 wt % H2O content. It was found that a significant amount of the ZrO2 added to the semi-crystalline polyimide is encapsulated inside spherulites. Therefore, the beneficial influence of inorganic filler on the selectivity of mixed-matrix membrane with respect to water was hampered. Mixed-matrix membranes based on amorphous polymer demonstrated the best performance, because water molecules had higher access to inorganic particles. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyimide; zirconia; mixed matrix membrane; polymer structure; Quantitative Nanomechanical Mapping; pervaporation polyimide; zirconia; mixed matrix membrane; polymer structure; Quantitative Nanomechanical Mapping; pervaporation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sokolova, M.P.; Smirnov, M.A.; Geydt, P.; Bugrov, A.N.; Ovaska, S.-S.; Lahderanta, E.; Toikka, A.M. Structure and Transport Properties of Mixed-Matrix Membranes Based on Polyimides with ZrO2 Nanostars. Polymers 2016, 8, 403.

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